I Will Say These Words Out Loud

image courtesy tristanverboven.files.wordpress.com….or write them, I guess, given the limitations of the medium.  But I want you to imagine that I am saying the words out loud as I type.  Because I am.

God is calling me.

Yes, me.  To give myself to His church.  To the work of the church.  To….okay, I really choke on this word….ministry.

I choke on it because it draws up images of the thundering managawd sweating at the pulpit, telling those of us in the pews what’s wrong with us.  It reminds me of the sharp divide between clergy and laity that I believe has been destructive to the body of Christ.  It brings up all the little jokes about ministers being “professional Christians”.  I feel called to devote my life to the ministry of the gospel, but I don’t want to be a Minister.   But that’s not up to me, not really, not if I’m willing to let God call the shots.

As for this calling – and I prefer the word vocation, but I think only because it sounds more sophisticated to me – I’ve hinted at it, danced around it, told a person or two here and there.  Consider this blog my declaration.

I’ve been slow to make this public declaration because I have a voice in my head telling me how people may react:  “Seriously????  She’s been a housewife for most of her adult life.  She hasn’t had a fulltime job since 1992.  She has NO training – no seminary, no Bible college, nada.  And she’s a woman (if you hadn’t noticed).  And she’s no spring chicken.  Taking her own sweet time figuring this out, isn’t she?  What took her so long?  Has she been “resisting the call?”  Or maybe this is no call at all – just a midlife crisis.  Anyway, I know her.  She’s hotheaded, opinionated, has bizarre political views, throws a fit when she loses at Trivial Pursuit, can’t control her kids, and I’m pretty sure I heard her swear once.  Not really the ministry type, if you ask me.”

All true, basically (except the “resisting the call” bit – I may be slow to catch on, but I haven’t been deliberately dodging anything).  And I could go on, if you’d like.  My inner monologue can be brutal and unrelenting.  But there is one hopeful thing I’m hanging on to:  Jesus is always picking the wrong people.  He has a history of entrusting His work to uneducated loudmouths like Peter, weasley collaborators like Matthew, political outliers like Simon, and even murderously self-righteous prigs like Paul.  In that lot, I don’t seem like much of a scandal, do I?

I don’t know what comes next. I haven’t figured out the logistics at all.  How do I proceed without robbing my family of what they need from me?  What about training?  What about money?  What about time?  What exactly am I called to do, specifically?  The whole thing feels like a picture very slowly coming into focus, and I haven’t left all of my questions or worries behind.  Not by a long shot.  I’m operating from the same place I often do with Jesus:  “Lord, I believe.  Help thou my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)

Boy, it feels good to just say it.  Call me crazy, call me delusional, I don’t care.  Okay, actually, I kind of do care, but I’ll get over it.  Because I’m sure.  God is calling me.

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About Sharon Autenrieth

Wife, mom to 5, homeschooler, Christian Education Director, idealist, malcontent, follower of Jesus.
This entry was posted in Christian Ministry, Christianity, religion, spirituality and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to I Will Say These Words Out Loud

  1. Wayne Colflesh says:

    Go for it Babe!

    Dad

    Like

  2. Julie Cox says:

    This will be interesting. I’ll enjoy following your saga? development? –ministry.

    Like

  3. eastlakecounty says:

    Oh, yes, God always chooses the wrong ones…even way back in the Old Testament. How exciting! What form do you think your ministry will take? I can’t wait to learn more!

    Like

    • This is part of what I’m still figuring out. I’m currently the Christian Education Director at our church as a layperson. I don’t feel a call to preach, really, but to Christian Education and Spiritual Formation in a more….professional?…way. We’ll see, but I’m excited about where things are headed.

      Like

  4. Jamie Kennedy says:

    Wow, Sharon that’s great! I am very excited for you! I think you’ll be great in ministry because you’re real. You make mistakes, and you admit that. You struggle, and you admit that too. But it has always seemed to me that you have always been committed to serving God with great passion, even in times where it was difficult. God always chooses the right “wrong” person. :o)

    Like

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  7. jubilare says:

    “Jesus is always picking the wrong people. He has a history of entrusting His work to uneducated loudmouths like Peter, weasley collaborators like Matthew, political outliers like Simon, and even murderously self-righteous prigs like Paul.”
    I thank God!

    Like

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